Friday, February 11, 2011

Spotlight Artists: Project Floyd

Our next Spotlight Artists are the Pink Floyd tribute act, Project Floyd. They were suggested to us by Joe Cumia of 2U. Project Floyd's bassist and vocalist Charlie Koci answers our questions below:
Band Lineup:
Joe Mayer - guitar, keyboards, David Gilmour vocals
Charlie Koci - bass guitar, Roger Waters vocals
Dave Ventura - lead guitar
Kristine Simko - keyboards, vocals
Steve Johnson - drums
Michael Stamberg - drums
Jen Mikell - vocals
Bob Notto - saxophone

How did your band's name come about?
It was suggested over a band breakfast by a former member, after we discovered that another band was using our first moniker, "Floydian Slip." I'm not crazy about the name. I don't think any of us are. This is why we don't have band breakfasts anymore.

How long have you been performing?
Me? Since 1982. The band? Since 2006.

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
I used to sing and play bass for an original indie rock band called Lovebots. We released a few CDs that nobody bought. Michael, one of Project Floyd's drummers, currently splits his time between us and the C.J. Ramone band. The others all have extensive experience in cover bands.

Musical influences:
Pink Floyd.

Favorite venues to play:
We love the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center, The Boulton Center(Bay Shore, NY) and Lefty's Candlelight Bar and Grill (Lindenhurst, NY).

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
We'll be doing a complete performance of The Wall at Napper Tandy's of Smithtown on Sunday, February 20, and at Suffolk Community College, Riverhead campus on February 23. We'll also be hitting the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center in the late spring/early summer. Check our website for details.

facebook: Project Floyd Fans

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing live.
Late one night, after three long sets, a very inebriated man wandered to the stage and asked me if we would consider letting him join the band. When I asked him what instrument he played, he replied, "Guitar. I can do all the Jimmy Page parts." I didn't have the heart to tell him that Jimmy Page was in Led Zeppelin.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Make sure that you have your material down pat, and make sure that you have a huge Rolodex. Call everyone in it, every time you play. Also, if you can avoid being in a band, by all means, do so.

Can you recommend any other act(s) we should feature on MurphGuide?
Aerosith. Greatest Long Island band. Period.

Have you ever met any members of Pink Floyd?
No. I would love to meet any of them. The lead guitarist in my original band met Nick Mason, and said that he was delightful.

By the way, which one's Project? That cracked me up! I guess that's not really a question, just figured I'd mention it.
Whenever we perform "Have a Cigar," I always substitute "By the way, which one's Project?" for "By the way, which one's Pink?" Most people don't think it's funny. I'm glad you do.

Which is your favorite Floyd album?
Personally, though I play Roger Waters, my favorite Pink Floyd is the Syd Barrett-fronted version. "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is my all-time favorite Floyd album. They never achieved that kind of brilliance again.

What is the most difficult aspect of emulating the Pink Floyd sound?
We strive for accuracy above all else, which requires us to enlist auxiliary musicians for larger gigs. We use two guitar players, as Pink Floyd always did after 1974 or so. We also have two keyboard players. There's simply no other way to do it properly.

You were introduced to us by Joe Cumia of 2U. Is there such a thing as a tribute band community? Are there rivalries among other Pink Floyd tribute bands?
I'm not sure about a tribute band community. I'm sure there is, but I don't know if we're part of it. I never go to clubs unless we're playing, and even then, I try to see if I can somehow get out of it.
As for rivalries among Pink Floyd bands, I can't really speak to that, though just before a show at Palmer Vineyards, in Aquebogue, a few years ago, Dave, our lead guitarist, was rushed to the hospital with stomach issues. Someone in the band had contact information for a guitarist from an international Pink Floyd band. The guitarist, upon being contacted, flatly refused to help us, though he was nearby. A pox on him! However, Dave pulled through, and the gig was a success. Whew!

Any big plans for 2011?
I'm trying to eat right and get in shape, myself. The band will be performing The Wall in its entirety for most of this year's shows. In previous years, we pounded "Dark Side of the Moon", "Wish You Were Here", and "Animals" into the ground. Given that Roger Waters has been touring The Wall recently, we saw this as a good opportunity to jump on the bandwagon. Personally, I'd rather do "Piper" or "Momentary Lapse of Reason", but I don't think most of our audience would dig it. I have to be satisfied with doing a few numbers from each of those albums.

Next show:
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Project Floyd
This show will feature a complete performance of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece, "The Wall"
Napper Tandy’s
15 E. Main St.
Smithtown, NY

Below is a video of Project Floyd at Dix Hills Performing Arts Center.
Video Production by K. Budna.

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